Volleyball: Team GB women thrilled with opening victory over Algeria at Earls Court


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The Independent Online

After six years of hard work, Britain's women volleyballers have won the nation's first Olympic event.

They came from 1-0 and 2-1 behind to secure a five-set win against Algeria, with the clock showing 12.37am when the final point was registered.

The win over a side ranked 16th in the world — 53 places above Britain —rewarded coach Audrey Cooper and her players for everything they have endured since the squad formed in 2006.

Players were forced to quit jobs and sell their houses so they could relocate to Sheffield and even then players had to pay for their own training programme after their funding was slashed entirely.

“Our families have been a huge part of it,” said captain Lynne Beattie (above). “There have been so many highs and lows over the last six years of our journey, they have been there to back us up when times have been tough.

“To get a win is fantastic and for everyone. I feel absolutely amazing— we can be very proud.”

A further win from their last three games, which start with a match against Italy tomorrow, would secure a quarter-final spot.

“We can’t wait to get after them,” Beattie said.